Regenerative Engineering: Materials in Convergence
Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, University of Connecticut Health Center, USA
We define Regenerative Engineering as a Convergence of Advanced Materials Science, Stem Cell Science, Physics, Developmental Biology, and Clinical Translation. Biomaterials play a centrally important role. Work in the area of musculoskeletal tissue regeneration has focused on a number of biomaterial technologies. Polymeric nanofiber systems create the prospect for biomimetics that recapitulate connective tissue ultrastructure allowing for the design of biomechanically functional matrices, or next generation matrices that create a niche for stem cell activity. Polymer and polymer-ceramic systems can be utilized for the regeneration of bone. Novel systems using graphene-ceramics provide new possibilities for bone regeneration. Hybrid matrices possessing micro and nano architecture can create advantageous systems for regeneration, while the use of classic principles of materials science and engineering can lead to the development of three dimensional systems suitable for functional regeneration of tissues of the knee. Through convergence of a number of technologies, with advanced materials science playing an important role, we believe the prospect of engaging future grand challenges is possible.